Accessible format transcription and other support in music education: can you help?

A message from The Amber Trust on behalf of RNIB.

What are we doing?

  • We would like to capture an honest assessment of the education system’s ability to support blind and partially sighted musicians.
  • We are running a survey through Music Education Hubs to get an idea of how well-equipped the current system is.
  • We would also like to present a report on the current state of play for accessible music notation transcription in the UK.
  • The views and experiences of blind and partially sighted musicians, and those who support them directly, will be incredibly important for this report.

Why are we doing this?

  • In the new National Plan for Music Education, the Government has explicitly committed to making music education accessible to all children. However, there is currently no provision in the plan for the transcription to accessible notation.
  • While discussions are open around how funding will be allocated as part of the NPME, we think it is essential that a report is composed, to argue the case that resources should be set aside for transcription and access to notation.
  • We will use insights from this research to make recommendations for how blind and partially sighted musicians can be better supported in the future.
  • The report will also help RNIB to shape the work of its Music Advisory Service.

How can you help?

As you will appreciate, obtaining data on numbers of visually impaired musicians is not easy, and numbers only tell half the story; it is the voice of those affected which is likely to hit through.

It would be great to include some short testimonies from teachers of blind students, QTVIs, and musicians themselves about:

  • Why access to music in accessible formats is important
  • What it means to have this
  • What it means not to have this
  • What barriers there are to obtaining this currently
  • Accessing the services and support of Music Education Hubs

Any assistance you can offer with pulling together these experiences would be a massive help. Please send any responses to Jay Pocknell, Music Support Officer at RNIB: [email protected]

Thank you very much!

How will responses be collected?

RNIB’s Music Advisory Service are very grateful to the Amber Trust for circulating this call for support. RNIB will collect responses anonymously. We will extract and collate comments from responses at the earliest opportunity, at which point your contact details, and any other personally identifiable data, will be removed, and your original email will be deleted.

The comments themselves may be used to help form the report as detailed above, so will be kept for that reason, but these will not include any personally identifiable data.

We will only use your email for the reason detailed here and cannot respond to enquiries made within responses. If you would like to contact RNIB’s Music Advisory Service for support or further discussion around supporting blind and partially sighted people to access music, please email us separately using the address: [email protected]